ERIC Number: ED461688
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-May
Reference Count: N/A
California's Proposition 227: Implications and Costs of the Unz Initiative.
Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC.
Voters in California will vote June 2, 1998 to decide the fate of Proposition 227, a measure proposed by businessman Ron Unz that would substantially change the way that students who are not proficient in English are taught. If approved by the voters, Proposition 227, the Unz Initiative, would essentially eliminate bilingual education programs in the state's public elementary and secondary schools, replacing them with special 1-year immersion classes taught in English only. This report explores how the Unz Initiative will affect the quality of public education in California, and how much it may cost the taxpayers. Approximately 1.4 million children in the state are classified as English language learners, and about half of these students currently receive academic instruction in their primary or home language as they are learning English. If the Unz Initiative is approved, numbers of students would require new class and school assignments, and sizable numbers of teachers would be reassigned, and might require recertification in subject areas other than bilingual education. New curricula would be developed, new professional development programs would be required, and ways to notify parents would have to be developed. Finally, new ways for assessing student performance in each academic area would have to be developed. These short-term effects would be followed by long-term costs. The academic harm done many students may not be felt immediately, but many students would undoubtedly fall further behind their English-speaking peers. Many may require costly compensatory education. and some may need to be in programs like Title I that are even costlier to run and harder to get out of than the current bilingual programs. Costs of retaining students in grade and providing needed summer programs would be added to costs for professional development so that regular education teachers could meet the challenges of students with inadequate English skills. The Unz Initiative would bring with it a high probability that many English language learners would end up in remedial, special education, or alternative classes. (SLD)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Bilingual Students, Bilingualism, Costs, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Immersion Programs, Language of Instruction, Political Influences, Public Schools, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, State Programs
For full text: http://www.cgcs.org/services/legislative/unz.htm
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Proposition 227 (California 1998)